Thoughts, quirky insights and experiences in my meandering life.

Dreams really do come true

Now, I could have been writing this during the early covid period, but somehow I just didn’t have the heart. I felt lost, and definitely lost for words. There was too much swirling emotion to be able to write a fun and breezy blog post. But that was then, and this is now. We are stepping into a regressive lockdown as the second wave really gets going, but somehow my emotions are more stable and positive (except for that thing which will happen on November 3rd).

These are pictures of my wonderful new addition, the enclosed porch I wrote about in “On the edge of lockdown”.

It, like everything else, was put on hold during the early part of the first lockdown. Luckily I had my building permit, and I had ordered windows on the last day it was possible to order them, and they were ready. Now there are back orders for windows as it is hard to get some of the parts. The supply chain is disrupted, one of the many results of this plague and its effects.

As soon as it was possible, Sawchuk Carpentry got to work, and it proceeded at a rapid speed, something anyone who has had construction work done on their house will appreciate.

June 2, 2020

Interestingly one of the crew members could not return to work immediately as his wife was working from home. He was responsible for their child.

June 4, 2020
June 5, 2020

Every day more progress was made.

June 4th.

The trades all lined up beautifully, the electrician spent a day installing all of the rough in fixtures, and the insulation company came by to pump in the insulation foam on top of the cement floor of half of the old deck in an orderly and timely fashion.

June 12, 2020
They did a great job all round.

It would be an understatement to say that I am happy, I am delighted. I love being able to go into my workroom for a few hours and not have to unpack everything before I start, and to be able to leave it at the end of the session. It is not completely sorted out, I guess that will happen never, but things will find their homes as I use each station and figure out where they need to be. Interesting to me is the fact that it was unpacking my aromatherapy library that finally got me going. I am sure some of those books will never be read again, and they take up a lot of space, but it was obviously important to me that they be there. Go figure.

You would be forgiven if you didn’t know that there were as many aromatherapy books in the world as their actually are. And this is not an exhaustive collection.

Now it was up to me to finish all the projects I had dragged my feet on. Years ago I found this bench in St. John’s Norway Cemetery.

A church in downtown Toronto was closing and some of the benches were brought to the Cemetery for disposal. This is just a bench from Ikea, but it was FREE. I have since put many hours of work into it, sanding all those nooks and crannies. Way more time and effort than it was really worth, but it was FREE. I have discovered I can sew for days on end, knit till the cows come home, but I do not like sanding. But I am glad to say that it now looks like this.

A first for me, I made the cushion cover. Had to figure out the pattern. I used fabric bought in the market in Chester-le-Street, Durham. I paid 2 pounds a metre. Well worth the weight to bring it back to Canada.

The table you see was completely re-built. I had purchased it for Beaches Therapeutics when we moved to a store front location in 1989. Then I loaned it to my glass artist friend Caroline who used it for 20 years in her studio as a wrapping table. Now it is back in my possession but it was too big. Each of the two planks on either side were 14.5 inches wide. A huge tree. With a 5 inch plank in the middle. The 5 inches had to go. I was the apprentice helper to Sue who took it apart, re doweled all the joints and put it back together. I cleaned it up with wire wool and beeswax and oil polish.

It is full of life nicks and character and I love being able to finally use it.

As we came out of the first lockdown, Georgian Bay Centre for the Arts, ramped up their offerings and I feel as though they have become my home away from home. This was an afternoon workshop, transforming old silverplate trays into jewellery. The bangle is from a tray celebrating a marriage that took place in May 1964. Clearly no one wants silver plate as part of their inheritance. Then on to this:

One of the founders is renovating their house and they have piles of old lathe. Why not make it into art?

What blessed relief to spend time with other people doing something new and creative. Here I am socially distanced, hence no mask, but it is close by.

Just two weekends ago I did my fourth or fifth workshop, this time with Albert Cote, fabric artist extraordinaire. One day we dyed fabric with acrylic paint and the next we made layered quilted rugs.

My cousin Cathy’s
And Miguelle’s. Who has the same last name as me, Mann, no relation

They are not finished, but well along the way, and a really fun technique.

We sat like three ducks in a row, wearing our masks and working like demons. There is tremendous energy in the workshops, lots of focused attention.

I know we are in a second lockdown, and visiting is again restricted, but if you are interested in creative things to do I recommend signing up for their mailing list. It is a mini Haliburton School of the Arts, run all year. Staying with me may not be an option for the next while, but there are many inexpensive motels here. This coming weekend I am taking a “How to sell online” workshop. Two and a half days in a mask!

I wistfully call the second addition room my Muskoka room. But as you can see the view is not expansive, nor over water, but at least I have my fireplace……….


Appendicitis in the year of Covid


Owen Sound: A city built on a human scale


  1. Daniel

    You are so talented! And that extra room looks great. We really have to set up a time to do a Facetime and catch up. It’s been way too long.

  2. Pat McKay

    You are so creative Maggie and have such a positive outlook as you work away at your projects . I love Haliburton Art School and the walk through all the outdoor sculptures. Hope to get up to see you one day and see all your beautiful projects.

  3. WendyJ

    So nice to read about all you are doing Maggie. You are truly an inspiration!! I love to see the creativity oozing out in so many different areas! Wow!! Take care of your self and keep on enjoying life, even in the midst of COVID! Your new room looks lovely!!

    • Maggie

      Thanks Wendy. I am really loving being able to do what I do. I feel very lucky, even in this terrible time. Hope you are well and creating too, I sometimes catch you on facebook on my rare visit. Always good to catch up a bit.

  4. Jen Scriven

    Always an inspiration, Maggie!! Thanks for taking us on your adventures, even if they’re closer to home. 🙂 Ah Beaches Therapeutics. Brings back some lovely memories. <3

    • Maggie

      Doesn’t it just. Lovely to chat with someone from those days! Hope you are well.

  5. Jennifer Bruce

    Maggie your artistic flare is wonderful. I make small necklaces out of plastic and crystal beads. I’ve also composed two original songs. 2019-2020 are the time frames. Veteran’s love song, written first, then Hangin in. 2020. They’re on Clipchamp and Facebook.

  6. Barbara Corrigan

    Helloo Maggie Mann
    So nice to hear your doing well.

  7. Brenda Rau

    Thanks for an update on your “wonderful life”. You continue to be an inspiration and goad us into getting off our ass and doing something creative. We’re all safe and well and trust that you stay the same. Miss you…now I think I’ll go dig out my essential oils and take a trip down memory lane.

    • Maggie

      Hi Brenda, I have been thinking about you alot. I will pick up the phone soon. Wendy J got in touch from West Wind. It was lovely to hear from her and be drawn back to that time.
      Have fun with those essential oils and glad you are all safe.

  8. Terri Taggart

    It’s beautiful, Maggie. I’m really admiring your talent and taste. Enjoy your beautiful addition.

    • Maggie

      The classes are great because all I have to do is follow the instructions. Just like going to aquafit. They tell me what to do and I do it. I am loving the addition, it makes working on projects so easy, I don’t have to clear everything away each time. See you on Friday.

  9. Sandra Wilton

    Love your new room!! I’m still waiting to have my floors done. The contractor was ready in July but the Condo were not allowing new jobs to start and now the contractor is busy with other work so I am on hold until he is free. Hopefully soon.
    I envy you your creativity, all you projects look great especially the silver bangles.
    Closing the cottage next weekend and may have to make a trip to Owen Sound for honey in the next couple of weeks.

    Keep Safe.

    • Maggie

      Wow, the summer has flown by, stalled at the beginning by this darn plague. Hope you are well, and lovely to hear from you.

  10. Wray Barraclough

    Good for you! It looks like an inspiring yet restful space. Enjoy, you deserve it.

  11. Wendy MacDonald

    Hi Maggie, it’s so good to hear from you and be updated with what’s going on in your life . Randy and I are grandparents now (such a wonderful thing) Take care and lets keep in touch. Wendy

    • Maggie

      Hi Wendy, I think of you often and hope you got through the first lockdown with your sanity intact. Mine got a bit ragged. Yes, it would be good to stay in touch. When it is safe it would be great to have you for a visit. Tell Randy there is great fishing here!

  12. Marnie

    Such a fantastic space. Everything looks wonderful!

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